WASHINGTON, January 12, 2015 – President Barack Obama on Monday announced that his administration would push for two new pieces of federal internet privacy legislation, one pertaining to consumers and one pertaining to students. He also announced that the Department of Education would offer new tools to help students and teacher help protect their privacy.
Speaking at the Federal Trade Commission in the first of three broadband-related State of the Union Address previews, Obama said that “almost every state has a different law [on privacy] and its confusing for consumers and its confusing for companies – and it’s costly, too, to have to comply with this patchwork of laws.”
The new internet privacy legislation would be dubbed the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, and Obama said that it is a distillation of private sector and advocacy group proposals: “We’ve identified some basic principles to both protect personal privacy and ensure that industry can keep innovating. For example, we believe that consumers have the right to decide what personal data companies collect from them and how companies use that data.”
The other piece of legislation is the Student Digital Privacy Act. “We’re saying that data collected on students in the classroom should only be used for educational purposes – to teach our children, not to market to our children. We want to prevent companies from selling student data to third parties for purposes other than education. We want to prevent any kind of profiling that puts certain students at a disadvantage as they go through school.”
Obama and the administration said that the president’s additional broadband-related State of the Union preview events would take place on Tuesday, January 13, at the Homeland Security Department on cybersecurity; and on Wednesday, January 14, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, addressing the need for families and communities to enjoy faster and cheaper access to high-speed internet services.
Obama made NO mention of his December statement urging the Federal Communications Commission to regulate net neutrality through a reclassification of broadband internet services.